The only thing that gets more press than a celebrity wedding is a celebrity divorce. We love it all: the paparazzi pictures of obligatory errands spent uncomfortably ill at ease; the staggering expenses of alimonies and pre-nups; the tense talk show confessions of estrangement and legal separation; and eventually, the fresh gossip about new lovers and torrid affairs. But failed celebrity marriages aren’t all Twitter battles and over-publicized custody hearings—the love lessons gleaned from high-profile divorces can be worth more than the “tell all” spread in People magazine that is sure to accompany them.
Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher: It’s Never Too Late To Get Punk’d
Although Demi and Ashton ruffled some feathers at the beginning of their relationship (I believe they’re at least partially responsible for popularizing the term “Cougar”), we all thought they were in the clear. After six years of happy matrimony—which is at least three decades of domesticity by Hollywood standards—we were finally feeling good about the pair. But, true to form, Ashton shook things up to remind us all not to get too secure, toocomfortable. Even time is no safeguard against romantic dissatisfaction and heartbreak.
Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren: It’s Not About The Other Women
When you look like Elin Nordegren, you’ve got to at least find solace in the fact that the demise of your marriage is in no way a product of any kind of personal physical inadequacy. So thanks, Tiger, for reminding us that cheating is rarely catalyzed by a desire to simply upgrade to a new model. Because you ruined things with a really hot one.
Britney Spears and Kevin Federline: No-Go With Co
Psychologists explain the high frequency of romantic relationships among co-workers as a product of simple proximity: the more time we spend with a potential partner, the more inclined we are to foster attraction toward that individual. So it comes as no surprise that Britney looked around her tour bus and eventually decided to marry the guy she danced with every day. But take Britney’s divorce and her subsequent meltdown as a clear warning: don’t settle down with a co-worker just because it’s easy, convenient, and he knows how to dance.
Newt Gingrich and Wives #1 and #2: Consider Yourself Lucky For Getting Out When You Did
People pity the first and second Mrs. Gingrich, but I think they came out of their marriages on top: we can all safely assume they’re better off without Newt. Sure, when your husband leaves you high and dry in a hospital bed you’re devastated. But you’ll soon learn that you’ve just become the infallible martyr who will live a happy life without the toxicity of a man who had the chutzpah to peace out mid-chemo. Read the Gingrich divorces (yes, plural) as exemplars of the age-old truism: “Honey, you’re better off without him.”